Letter of the Month

Sisters have always been doing it for themselves

Well done ABC Classic for marking International Women’s Day (March 8) with such an intelligent compilation disc, Women of Note, proving once again that our female composers have always matched their male counterparts. From Miriam Hyde to Margaret Sutherland, Aussie women have been producing substantial works for symphony orchestra that can be ranked among the finest. However, there is a ‘but’. Where are these works on orchestra programs? When was the last time you heard a work by Peggy Glanville-Hicks or Dulcie Holland in the concert hall? Surely programmers are aware of these outstanding pieces? So why not let us hear them live? Come to think of it, where are the big commissions for our fine younger generation of women composers? I’m sure Kate Moore or Maria Grenfell could write a work for symphony orchestra. And surely, like Miriam Hyde before her, Sally Whitwell should be asked to write and play a piano concerto of her own devising? Come on orchestras, put your commissioning money where your mouths are. Susan Garvey, Happy Valley, SA

LETTERS PRIZE

Letter of the Month wins Stuart Skelton’s Shining Knightwith the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Asher Fisch, out now on ABC Classic.

Rear View Blues

I’m all for vigorously appreciative applause when performers take their bow, but deplore the increasing tendency of Sydney audiences to stand to clap, a nasty Americanism. Those at the front stand, obliging everyone behind them to rise also, or miss out on the performers’ response to their audience. Not everyone can easily rise, or even if they do, those who are shorter cannot see. Please can we remain seated, clap in unison like European audiences or stamp our feet while clapping? Rising to applaud is so inconsiderate. I find myself applauding to someone’s backside. Carol Jeffs, Wollongong, NSW

Thanks for the Lifeline

I subscribe to Limelight Magazine because I spent my working life as a piano teacher and player in Melbourne. I was a subscriber to the Australian Chamber Orchestra and went to many concerts etc. I live in Port Fairy now and so only get to a very special few. That means I have to rely on Limelight Magazine to be in touch with my past life and friends, and what is happening now. It is a lifeline, thank you. Camilla Kelly, Port Fairy, VIC

A ROYAL LACK OF THEATRES

A friend and I went to Melbourne recently to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Having to fly there made it an expensive trip but it was well worth it. Sitting in the beautifully refurbished Princess Theatre only brought home how much better off Melbourne is than Sydney for lyric theatres. Besides the Princess, Melbourne has the Comedy, Her Majesty’s and The Regent as well as the Arts Centre. I remember Cameron Mackintosh saying years ago that Sydney desperately needed another lyric theatre to house musicals. It’s sad that Sydney venues like Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Regent have both gone. And what is happening to the Theatre Royal? It’s been dark for three years now. It’s great to hear about the new Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre at Rooty Hill. But I think the CBD needs a new theatre for commercial shows too. Let’s hope that the Theatre Royal re-opens soon and isn’t turned into yet another retail spot. Stella Reynolds, Paddington, NSW

New Vibrations

It was fascinating to read your discussion on classical music mixing with other genres [March’s cover story, When Worlds Collide]. When done with skill and taste, these collaborations are valuable and interesting and a way for classical music to keep developing. I was shocked to learn that nearly all of the music performed at the end of the 18th century was by living composers, but that 100 years on three quarters were by dead composers. Surely that statistic is greater in today’s concert halls. Good on those orchestras who perform new work then. Bill Ross, Fremantle, WA

MORE MISSIVES PLEASE

We’d love to receive more letters from our readers. We’re keen to hear about the recent performances you’ve loved (or hated), the music you’re listening to right now, or who your favourite artists are. Are there any features in the magazine that you’ve particularly enjoyed – or disagreed with? Is there anything you’d like to see us include in the magazine that we aren’t currently covering? Any issues you’d like to see us address? Send us your ideas, we’d love to hear from you! Limelight Ed


Have Your Say

Ross Edwards, Incantations

We’d love to hear about the performances you’ve loved (or hated), the music you’re listening to or your favourite artists. Are there any features you’ve enjoyed – or disagreed with – or anything you’d like to see more of in the magazine?

Our May issue’s Letter of the Month wins Incantations: Chamber Music by Ross Edwards, out now on ABC Classic.

To enter, click here to send us an email. 

No more than 200 words please. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Please include a daytime phone number with your letter. Only selected letters will appear in the May 2019 issue of Limelight, on sale from May 2 – available to subscribers from April 18.